You can’t always see a personal crisis coming, but you can usually take steps to keep your company running while you deal with the situation. A personal crisis adds to your stress levels, makes it difficult to focus, and may take you away from your business for some time. Figuring out how to keep your business running helps reduce your lost profits, lost clients, and other long-term effects on your company.
Create a Crisis Plan
The middle of a crisis is hardly the best time to make decisions for your company. Try to have a comprehensive crisis plan before an emergency hits, so you and your employees know how to keep things running. Use the plan to shape your thoughts about how a crisis might impact the business. Establish processes and actions that should happen should a crisis occur. The plan should identify who is in charge in your absence and who handles essential tasks. Everyone on your team should have access to the crisis plan.
Call on Trusted Employees
Business owners sometimes have a hard time sharing ownership in the essential processes that keep your company running. If no one else knows what you do for the day-to-day operations, your business may struggle when you’re gone. Train at least one other trusted manager or employee on your daily responsibilities. Splitting up the responsibilities between multiple employees helps disperse the workload if you’re suddenly absent to deal with a crisis. Even if you’re still working during the crisis, let your employees support you during the difficult time by handling part of your responsibilities.
Prioritizing your responsibilities is an important part of running a business, and it becomes especially helpful during a crisis. If you’re spending less time in the office to handle the emergency, you need to focus the time you do spend at work on crucial tasks. Think about the things you absolutely must to do keep the business afloat. Tasks like marketing and special events aren’t essential during times of crisis. If you can’t delegate those tasks to someone else, put them on hold for now.
If you expect to be busy with the crisis for an extended period, think about outsourcing some work to a virtual assistant or an expert in a particular field. Hire a social media manager to keep up with your Facebook posts and Tweets while you’re gone. Outsourcing your bookkeeping ensures your financials stay in order. Outsourcing doesn’t have to be a permanent solution. When your personal life calms down, you can resume those responsibilities yourself if you prefer. For now, ease your workload by letting someone else handle it.
Take a Leave of Absence
Depending on the emergency, you may need to take a leave of absence to handle the situation. You’re no good to your employees or your company if you’re being pulled between a personal crisis and the office. The leave of absence also helps you focus on self-care, which is often forgotten during a crisis. If you have key people in place who can handle the business, step away so you can focus your attention completely on the personal situation. If you’re a freelancer, consider contacting your clients to let them know you’re taking a leave of absence. Communicate with your clients to let them know when you’re returning as well.
A personal crisis can be emotionally and physically draining, which makes running a business more difficult that normal. Reach out to others for support, and balance your need to run your business with your need to work through the personal situation.